U.S. Second Circuit - The FindLaw 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog

Stop and Questioning Upheld Over Challenge in Drug Case

In US v. Harrison, No. 09-2907, the court of appeals affirmed defendant's possession with intent to distribute cocaine base conviction, holding that the time elapsed between the stop at issue and the arrest was only five to six minutes, and the questions about the passengers' comings and goings were subsumed in that brief interval, and this additional questioning did not prolong the stop so as to render it unconstitutional.

As the court wrote:  "Defendant-appellant Jonathan Harrison appeals the judgment of the United States District Court for the 31 Northern District of New York (Mordue, C.J.) convicting him of possession with intent to distribute cocaine base (crack). He appeals the denial of his motion to suppress the drugs, arguing that the officers found them only after unreasonably protracting an otherwise lawful traffic stop."

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